By April 24, 2009

HTC Touch Diamond2 review

The HTC touch family has a new member, with new Touchflo software and a bigger screen… But is it any good?

Short answer: YES!

The HTC Touch Diamond2

The HTC Touch Diamond2

Note: There are lots of images in this review. Please click any of them to see them full size.

Whats in the box?

  • HTC touch Diamond 2 handset
  • 1100 mh Battery
  • Mains charger with UK adapter
  • HTC ExtUSB charge / sync cable
  • Screen protector
  • Stereo Headset
  • Manual on CD
  • Software CD
  • Quickstart guide
  • Replacement stylus

Check out Matt’s HTC Touch Diamond2 unboxing video for more info.


HTC Touch Diamond2 Specification:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional
  • Qualcomm MSM7200A, 528 MHz CPU
  • RAM – 288 MB
  • ROM – 512 MB
  • 3.2-inch TFT-LCD touch-sensitive screen with 480 X 800 WVGA resolution
  • HSDPA/WCDMA: Up to 2 Mbps up-link and 7.2 Mbps down-link speeds
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
  • Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g
  • HTC ExtUSB (11-pin mini-USB 2.0 and audio jack in one)
  • Internal GPS antenna
  • microSD memory card (SD 2.0 compatible)
  • FM Radio, G-Sensor
  • Main camera: 5.0 megapixel colour camera with auto focus
  • Second camera: VGA CMOS colour camera
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery 1100 mAh
  • 107.85 X 53.1 X 13.7 mm (4.25 X 2.09 X 0.54 inches)
  • 117.5 grams (4.15 ounces) with battery



The Diamond 2 certainly looks like the original Diamond’s older and more mature brother. The front of the device is simply dominated by the new larger screen, and the silver trim highlights the size perfectly.

On the front of the handset is the speaker grill, status LED to the left and front facing video calling camera to the right. directly below the screen is the row of backlit buttons topped by the zoom bar. The new design really does help to make the device look uncluttered and ready for business.

HTC Touch Diamond2 front view

HTC Touch Diamond2 front view


On the bottom is the extusb connector for charging / synching and also for plugging in the included stereo headset. The is a small microphone hole next to it, and the hole leading to the inside of the device and the lanyard connection.

HTC Touch Diamond2 bottom view

HTC Touch Diamond2 bottom view


The top has a largish power button, that is slightly raised, and it is a vast improvement over the original diamonds flush design.

HTC Touch Diamond2 top view

HTC Touch Diamond2 top view


The left hand side has a large single volume rocker, and the right has a large speaker grill and the raised lip of the stylus.

HTC Touch Diamond2 left side

HTC Touch Diamond2 left side


The back of the handset is now flat, and the hole (no plastic window) at the top reveals a 5 megapixel camera, sadly without flash or mirror, although as Matt already pointed out, the back is shiny enough to be used as one!

HTC Touch Diamond2 back view

HTC Touch Diamond2 back view


Pushing the back cover up gives you access to the battery, sim card and MicroSD slot, as well as the lanyard connection. It does make me cringe though, as the firm click as the back is removed sounds too much like something has snapped inside!

HTC Touch Diamond2 inside view

HTC Touch Diamond2 inside view


With the back removed, the SD card slot sits just above the stylus, and is spring loaded, enabling you to easily insert and remove the memory card.

By removing the stylus you can see the red reset button.

The battery is a 3.7 volt 1100 mAh Li-ion, and is much better than the original diamonds battery, however more on that later.

Underneath the battery is the sim card slot, and by sliding in the sim, a small raised retainer secures it into place. It is a pain to remove, so if you swap sim cards a lot, then this phone is not ideal.



After starting up the device, the vibrator lets off a small alert, and then you see the Touch Diamond 2 graphic and animated HTC logo, the device starts its bootup. You see a quick flash of the green windows mobile 6.1 boot screen, however it is literally just a flash. It is quickly replaced with a screen informing you that the touchflo interface is loading. Having used the original diamond for the past 10 months, i was very surprised how quickly this version of touchflo launched!

From a cold boot to the sim password screen was a mere 45 seconds. (by comparison, my original touch Diamond took over 90!)

The home screen loads and the first thing that you notice is the clock, and the fact that there is now loads of space beneath it

01. homescreen

Some keen eyed people may have noticed that I have already customized my home screen, something that is now very easy to do without any additional 3rd party tools. More on that later.

One thing that has been vastly modified over the original TF3D (touchflo 3D) software on the diamond is the now tight integration with Windows Mobile. This is explained in more detail later on in the review, however i wanted to point out a few changes in each section. The notifications still show on the top bar of all TF3D screens, comprising of the power indicator, sound, missed calls (or balloon when you have multiple notifications) , activesync and taskmanager. However by clicking anywhere up there you get a new screen.

02. notification jpg

A most welcome change to the old style " bottom notification message". This way you can see all your notifications in one go! Interestingly by pressing the sound, or power notifications, you still get the notification screen, not the sound or power menu items like in previous versions. This is one of those "quirks" that you will either love or hate.

The tabs can be changed by either pressing directly on the symbols in the bottom part of the screen, or by swiping a finger from left to right or vice versa across the width of the screen. You can also press and slide along the tab row to get a symbol and a description show up.

05. home tabs 06 messages mail clip_image012internet people

New SMS and email ‘s messages still use the bottom notification method , however it has gone through a design overhaul, with the background dimming when a new message or email arrives. There is a slight animation as the notification comes in, and seems to slide up very fast from the bottom of the screen, whilst making whatever is in the background become slightly opaque.

03. sms

The SMS tab has not changed much from the original TF3D, apart from the fact that the interface is now super fast and super sensitive. The increased screen size allows you to see more information, and a "finger flick" up or down the screen allows you to scroll through messages.

04. sms tab

The button next to the message allows you to reply directly from the interface. and by pressing it, we get the next surprise from TC

HTC, a new keyboard layout. This is called "Touch Input" , and is a very welcome change to the previous version of the keyboard. Matt has already mentioned a few features of this in his video, however I wanted to touch on those again.

SMS write

The first thing you notice when you press a key is tactile or heptic feedback from the HTC vibration motor. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it is so nice to actually feel a button being pressed, that I actually wondered what was wrong when I went back to my original diamond and tried to write a message. The other thing is the fact that when you press a key, you get a little popup to show you what key you have pressed, and by long pressing a button, it gives you a choice of alternative characters to choose from, and all you need to do is slide your finger until the character you want is highlighted in green. Unfortunately my screen grab software couldn’t record them!

You can also see a dedicated XT9 / ABC button, that allows you to switch the automatic word recognition on and off.


By pressing the Menu button, on the bottom of the screen, the menu literally unfolds from the middle in a smooth animation, allowing you to insert pre-defined text, check names or perform a host of other actions. It also allows you to insert MMS elements, and upon doing so changes the message from a SMS to MMS automatically.

sms menu

I am going to send a MMS just to show you some of the new menus: So first i am going to insert a picture:

insert menu

this brings up the gallery screen, allowing me to choose either a pre-shot picture or video, or create a new one using the inbuilt camera. I chose the fish picture included with the phone, by scrolling down to the bottom of the screen.


Immediately after selecting, I got a new screen telling me that the image size may be too large for my message, and asking me if I want to compress it. Unfortunately there is no "automatically adjust" menu item. It would be a nice feature to just add multiple images, and have the phone compress then after I had finished to make them fit, however It is a welcome warning after having tried to send large messages with previous version of the MMS software, only to have them fail.

mms too big MMS screen

after selecting the size / quality of the file, I now get the MMS message window. It doesn’t look that different to the SMS window, except the size notification at the bottom, and an added subject line under the to field. However the menu hold another surprise.. A fully fledged MMS composer, with a HUGE menu of options

MMS menu MMS composer MMS composer options

When you go back to the messaging tab, you also see menu item called all messages. This brings you to the overview of SMS messages as seen in the previous version of TF3D, and also enables you to view messaged in threaded view.

I won’t go into much more detail here about the MMS & SMS but if you are interested in more information, please let us know in the feedback comments.

The mail tab hasn’t changed much either, apart from the overhauled "add account" creation screen. It now recognizes Gmail addresses amongst others, and sets these up without having to enter all server information. I am not sure what other email accounts it auto configures, but my guess would be yahoo and hotmail.

mail add account

One thing worth noting though is the added ability to add an attachment to an email message. That was missing on the original Diamond, and it’s great to see that option added on this version.

Weather Tab:

Ahh.,., where would we be without the famous weather tab from HTC?? This was one of the highlights from the original diamond, and some of the geeks doubting whether or not to buy the original diamond found themselves having small nerdgasms as the weather tab was shown and the infamous window wiper washed the droplets of rain away.

The animations are better on the Diamond 2, and the screen is bigger allowing better definition, and more info. The weather has a 4 day forecast straight from the tab screen, however, it is still bound to who are not the number one choice in my book for weather. It would be nice to have a list of a few different providers to choose from, although I have to admit, the integration with TF3D is SUPERB! It pulls off the location of ALL your cities, and allows you to scroll through them online in a specially designed perfectly Opera fitting page!

weather weatheronline

Internet Tab:

The most significant change here is the added ability to add "Push Pages"

internettab googlenews

A Push Page is a webpage that can be set to download at regular intervals. Important to note is that it has the same limitations as the Opera browser installed.. and doesn’t allow logins.. So i set mine to google news, as that is controlled by cookies.

When you open the page you get a small notification when it was updated last, however it does NOT do "deep linking" Only that page and its content are loaded into memory.. so all links will require an internet connection to update. The Zoom bar does its job very well here, and the auto rotate feature in Opera is brilliant. The browser also reformats text whenever it can as well to display zoomed material in the new zoomed screen size. Another nice feature is the keyboard changing automatically to include all the "web characters" including a .com button. where the spacebar used to be. A simple solution, as there are no spaces in web addresses!

tracyandmatt-opera tracyandmatt-opera-zoom internet keyboard

The Youtube app is still on the internet page, and has been updated to support the increased screen size, and I must say it is fantastic! The quality is brilliant, and the various zoom levels either crop or stretch the video to fit the screen.

Camera Tab:

The camera software has also had an overhaul, and Matt has touched on this in his video review. However, notable is the very clean interface, the large Iris button for taking shots, and the ability to aim your focus by clicking anywhere on the screen! So easy, and intuitive… It’s one of those features I am NOT going to be able to live without on another touch screen phone!

Is with the previous versions of TF3D, you can flick your way through the gallery and zoom using the built-in zoom bar. For those of you missing the D-Pad form the previous version, HTC have added the ability to zoom in and out using a finger or stylus to make a circular motion on the screen, however its fiddly and doesn’t work well. The zoom bar does a much better job!

Calendar Tab:

Another nice feature is the Calendar tab with a roomy month overview, and little notifications when you have an appointment. I would have liked to see a feature that changes the little grey triangle to top right for an afternoon appointment, and bottom left for a morning appointment, but now I am nitpicking! Again, a flick up or down with a finger changes the month, and by tapping on a day, you can see the appointments (or lack thereof) for that day.

calendar dayview

Music Player:

Nothing noticeable has changed here, apart from the added Audio Boost menu item. This pumps up the volume on your headset, and only works when its plugged in!

One other tab that has been added in the library, hidden all the way to the right after composer and genre, is a "purchased music" tab. I still haven’t found out what powers it! Could this be a feature for Win mobile 6.5?

audio boost purchased

Stock Tab:

I don’t use this tab.. I don’t have any stocks, and have no interest in them, however… I wanted to keep an eye on HTC stocks for the review, so searched for them… but couldn’t find them! I did find Hughes Telematics though! A quick Google search later, and bingo. HTC is 2498.TW

stock add stock htc stock overview detailedstock 

By clicking on the stock itself, you get a MUCH more detailed view of what is happening, even back as far as 2 years!

The overview menu lets you re-arrange and delete stock, as well as set whether or not it is automatically updated. Interestingly enough, its powered by Yahoo Finance, HTC does have a few strange partners for services, however it’s nice to see a company that’s not scared to cross Microsoft borders, and search out what it considers the best online services for its applications.

The People Tab:

This is the "flagstone" of the new HTC TF3D software. It’s called "People centric communication" and touted as a "more personal way to converse"

In a nutshell, HTC have made the PERSON the centre of the information, rather than the medium, and have taken great pains to ensure that the "normal" windows mobile interface is VERY well hidden! I am going to add a favourite (or Favorite) to the contacts to show you the huge changes.

people tab add contact addcontact2

Nearly all the information that you could ever want to input is on ONE screen. The ability to up to 3 email addresses and numbers and even customized ringtones is all here. Interestingly the ability to add a webpage isn’t.

To do that, you need to select the more button, that brings you back to Windows Mobiles input screen. I tried to enter the minimum of info, just a name, and it told me off! I had to insert either an email, number or address!

Now my Dummy contact is created, i can see almost everything about him on one page. The 4 tabs are for Contact information, SMS / MMS messages, Emails and Call history

dummy dummy messages dummy mail dummy calls

This makes is so much easier to find details about that person. It is an invaluable business tool. It reminds me of Outlooks business contact manager, but in mobile form.

The Phone:

With all these additional bits that the Diamond 2 can do, its sometimes easy to forget it is actually a phone, and a really good one at that! The interface has been redesigned and styled to match the TF3D. A 300 number strong call history is shown at the top, and the new keypad is below. I really like the feature to select whether you want to phone or video call directly from the main pad, something that was missing on the previous version. The little plus symbol next to the contact lets you either add the number to a new contact, or choose an existing contact to update, and shows automatically after each unknown number is either dialled, or calls you. You can switch it off in the settings though.

phone save to contacts

When a call comes in, the familiar slide to answer screen shows, or you can either use the buttons to reject or accept. Alternatively you can simply flip the phone screen side down and it mutes the call.

call answerted call menu

One option that has remained is the "reject with message" option, however that is only shown when a mobile phone entry is recognized from your contacts address book.

The overlay stops you from pressing a wrong button when on a call, and allows you quick access to the keypad, or to end the call. Sliding it down reveals the options underneath,

The tabs from the contact screen are back here, and provide easy access to all information saved from that number. There is some confusion if the stylus is magnetic or not. I don’t think it is.. (and tested with a magnet to make sure!) however, who really cares? It does its job, and pulling out the stylus does open the notepad function when on a call.

The menu on the phone section is extensive offering all the functionality that most people could want. The company directory option is shown because I have got mine synched with an Exchange Server.

phone menuhtc phone menuhtc2 HTC options

Clicking options brings you to the Windows Mobile options screen for the phone, and is pretty standard stuff, except the last option.

Here the screen allows you to set HTC specific options such as the message sent upon rejecting a call, and adding contacts after a call.

The windows button:

One change that was a surprise was the classic windows button function, or lack of!

Hitting the start button now opens a new screen very "windows mobile 6.5" / programs tab like. In fact the programs tab from the "old" TF3D is gone, and found a new home here. It’s going to be a "Marmite" thing. Either you love it or hate it!

start button


The settings tab has had a few new additions. Here you can do pretty much everything on the device without ever having to leave the cuddly interface of the HTC gurus.

settings1 sound1 sound 2 wimo sound

Sync Data: Does exactly what is says on the button!

Sound: A HUGE menu to adjust pretty much everything you want to. I love the automatic setting, that automatically reads the calendar and sets the phone to vibrate for the duration. The menu also allows you to regulate ringtone and system volume separately, adjust the normal ringtone and vibration, and also switch on system sounds. The advanced button brings you to the Windows Mobile interface.

Wallpaper: Changes the background image on the home screen from any picture in the library.


comms menu phonehtc phonehtc2 bluetooth menu HTC

This menu is invaluable for setting ALL the devices that may connect you to the outside world.

The airplane mode is well know, it switches off Bluetooth and the phone functions, as well as wireless. This is a simple toggle ON or OFF. (airplane mode ON, switches everything OFF!)

Phone: The first Dual function switch. the right radio switches the phone off, the left icon changes the settings. This menu is extensive as well, however allows you to go into the standard Windows Mobile mode by hitting the advanced button.

Bluetooth: Same as the Phone menu, this is a dual function switch, with the radio again switching Bluetooth on or off, and the left icon changing settings. As you can see I already have my Jawbone II headset paired, and by adding a headset, it automatically tries 1234 and 0000 as the codes, making pairing superb, quick and easy.

The Bluetooth is Bluetooth 2.0 with Enhanced Data Rate and A2DP for wireless stereo headsets, and the quality is much better than the original diamond, however the range is still limited on the Diamond 2. OK, admittedly the usage of the word limited is relative, I get a clear signal 6 metres away, if my head is tilted the right way and the wind is favourable.

wifi screen wifi menu2

The Wi-Fi menu is deactivated when the phone is connected by USB, unless you tell Windows Mobile device centre (Vista) or Active sync to allow data connections when the phone is connected by USB. However, it is again dual function. Left icon shows a new menu with redesigned graphics, and the list of available hot spots. Clicking on one of the shows the network key entry screen, and a real Wi-Fi strength meter! One thing that is worrying, is that the key entry is shown in clear text, and not masked.

The advanced button brings you to the Windows mobile Wi-Fi screen, that has had a minor modification… It now shows you not only the MAC address of the wireless adapter, but at last the IP address!!

Microsoft Direct Push: This switches the direct push function of Exchange servers on and off, and by clicking the icon it brings you to the Active sync menu.

Data connection controls the 3G GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity, and clicking in the icon launches the Auto configure tool for a multitude of providers, automatically configuring things like Phone settings, MMS settings and 3G.

Customize tab:

The original TF3D rom didn’t allow you to customize tabs without 3rtd party add-ons. HTC have taken this in their own hands now, and given you the ability to re-arrange tabs, and even delete them. (stocks was the first to go on mine!)

It couldn’t be easier, drag the tab to a new order, or untick it to hide it. The Home screen cannot be moved, neither can the music, camera or settings tab.

customize loading

After clicking done, the TF3D does a quick restart, and we get a rare glimpse of the original Windows Mobile interface.

My Contact Card:

A new addition to the People Centric communication module is the My Contact Card.

This is exactly what is says… It is a personal electronic business card. You can send it per MMS or Bluetooth, and is the default business card for attaching to emails. I have been using an electronic version of business cards for years, and it really does make sense… Sure a physical business card is essential, but when dealing with businesses mi want them to have my information NOW, in their phone or on their PDA , or at least in the inbox. It’s also nice not to have to force people to type out all that info again.


Simple really. do I have to explain this?

gsensormenu calibration


Touchflo tab:

The most BORING tab on the whole device. But essential. It shows the T&C’s for touchflo, as well as the version number. I never realised that it comprised of SO many technologies though.

All settings button:

This brings you to the most comprehensive original Windows Mobile menu that you can find. It’s the old settings menu, hidden away in the background like some forgotten relic. I have to admit I feel like making a jump from Vista to windows 95 every time that I find the Windows mobile interface. After barely a week, I really don’t miss it.


There are no real changes over the old applications from the Diamond 2. Teeter has a few new levels, the radio still needs a headset to work, Internet explorer mobile is tucked away in there never to see the light of day (until the new version gets released anyway!) , remote desktop makes a VERY welcome return (especially on this nice big screen!) and Google maps is still on the device.

Google Maps is brilliant! It’s a rough and ready, out of the box map of ANYWHERE. Its mobile version supports street view, and GPS. Luckily the Diamond2 has GPS built in. So did the original diamond, but there is NO comparison. The original diamond needed a really nice day, lots of room and a clear view to Venus to get a signal. It also took about as much time as it takes to get to Venus and back to make a lock as well. HTC must have injected some steroids into the Bigger brother, as the GPS is seriously FAST.

Cold start to lock… 90 seconds!!! That may not sound impressive, but I hadn’t downloaded any QuickGPS data, or anything. The map jumped from London, to Valetta based on my Mobile phone signal, and found 8 satellites within 60 seconds. Impressed I switched off Google maps, cleared out the saved data and decided test the speed of a QuickGPS assisted Map

This downloaded a file to my Diamond, that must have held super secret spy communication codes or something. I switched on Google maps again, and started the clock. 18 Seconds later, I was looking at my position on my street. Amazed, I walked inside, suffering from shock. I then had to pinch myself… my icon was moving WITH ME! Even in my living room and bedroom the icon followed me. The signal capabilities of the GPS are a welcome change. it needs a window nearby, or a dodgy builder that worked on your roof, but providing it has one of those 2 things it can get a signal.


I am going to make a small rant. When I got my Diamond, it came is a wonderful Pyramid shaped box, with the handset sitting proud on top after I opened the lid. I had palpitations. When i got my Diamond 2, it was wrapped in cellophane in a recycled square cardboard box!

When I charged my Diamond, the adapter was sleek, shiny and the HTC logo shone proud from the plug socket adapter. My diamond 2 has a lacklustre matt finished charger with no cool glowing lights , and even the USB cable looks dull and boring.

I didn’t buy the diamond or its bigger brother the Diamond 2 because of the box, or the charger. It was an anticlimax though to receive a coloured in version of the pre-release. I am sure HTC wanted to keep costs down, and that’s why they made small cosmetic changes and didn’t include even the smallest of SD Micro cards, but I would have happily paid a Tenner more for the shiny charger and a 2gig card in a "deluxe" version… oooh and a case! I would have paid about 50 quid more for a version with a 8 gig card and the TV out kit and a charger and shiny cables and a cool microfiber case.

OK.. rant over…

The Battery:

One thing tucked away in the old Windows Mobile settings menu is a new subscreen on the power menu. It’s really easy to miss, and it’s called information. Because I have been doing this review with the device plugged in, mine does not show a bundle of information . However, I stumbled upon this after 2 days of NOT having to find a power source. You know that nagging feeling you get when you have forgotten something? With me, it was my USB charge cable. I never leave home without it. I have one at my local bar, one at work, 2 in my apartment, and even one at a friend’s house. That’s because after using the original Diamond for 10 months, I know that my battery last about 10 seconds longer than the one bar notification. In real life usage that means about an 8 hour day. My working day is normally 12 hours. That means I am normally panicking when I have to go out at 9pm, and haven’t had time to "top-up" my phone. Those days are gone.

After charging the phone up, and playing with all the settings and making video calls and sms’s and playing with the GPS, and surfing the web…. I still had half a battery left!

Actually I forgot to charge it! The next day I grabbed it, went out and did my day, and didn’t charge it. I got home drunk and didn’t plug it in. The next morning, the alarm woke me up from my jeans pocket. (yes it is louder than the original Diamond as well!) Then it started to moan a bit and flashed me a low battery warning. So I pushed my luck. 4 hours later, it was still complaining, and I didn’t have the heart to ignore its please for electricity any longer. I had clocked up 2 hours talk time, a whopping 56 hours standby, and 3 hours usage. Is the battery better on the Diamond 2?? Yep, and then some…

power1 clip_image138


This device has been a pleasure to use over the past week. The screen size is nice and clear, it feels solid in the hand and the screen is easy to read even in sunlight. The TouchFlo is responsive, and superfast. The camera is OK, the GPS superb and the reception is better than the original Diamond. The battery is a powerhouse, the keyboard is a pleasure to type on, and the sound quality is great.

I didn’t like a few niggly things like trying to find out how to rename my device, or add a shortcut for a program I have saved on my MicroSD card but then again I am a "power user" of HTC devices. I liked this device so much I wanted one as soon as I saw it, even before I had held one in my hand. I liked this device so much I pre-ordered it the DAY it showed up on websites for sale. The package arrived at home, and I was so excited I forgot I had a girlfriend.. Ok that bit was a lie.

Is the device worth an upgrade from the original Diamond? Logically , no. unless you really do use GPS a lot, and are passionate about battery life. Upgrade from a non Windows Mobile device.. without a shadow of a doubt.

A small note here: The Exchange integration alone is so brilliant, it warrants a review all on its own! If you are serious about using this in a business environment, and want a review, please let us know in the comments section.

Please check out the Diamond2 review followup HERE.


Review by: Piero

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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